Register for our 8/9 webinar: “Navigating SEO and AI: Future-Proofing Search Marketing in the Generative AI Era”
Generative AI is slated to change the nature of the search engine results page (SERP). Search marketing strategies must evolve accordingly.
The Search Generative Experience (SGE) is an ambitious initiative by Google to provide AI-generated experiences and personalized, conversational answers to user queries—effectively transforming the way we interact with search results.
Google Magi is the AI tool powering the Search Generative Experience (think of our old friends Alexa and Siri). Magi learns and adapts from previous conversations, interactions, and user behaviors to continually improve result accuracy and relevance, dramatically transforming user experience.
While an official launch date hasn’t been released, Google has already begun inviting users to test out SGE.
Based on our experience with SGE so far, here’s what marketers can expect:
- Users will spend more time on the search result pages.
- There will be less website traffic from informational queries.
- Action-based queries will drive higher quality traffic to websites.
- Impact will vary by vertical.
So, how can marketers prepare and refine SEO strategies to align with this new environment?
Emphasis on Real Human Experiences
SGE prioritizes individual perspectives, insights, and first-hand experiences in search results. Late last year, Google added an additional “E” to its E-E-A-T credibility guidelines, to include: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. In order to build trust and establish authority, marketers will need to:
- Collaborate with industry experts to create and expand your brand’s presence through their expertise.
- Build expert profiles to highlight the expertise and credentials of individuals within your organization who have valuable insights to share.
- Leverage user-generated content to bring images, reviews, testimonials, and feedback into your SEO strategy.
- Utilize real stories and case studies to demonstrate the impact and value of products or services.
- Use video and social media to showcase real human experiences.
- Actively engage in conversations with your audience across channels.
Because Google Magi learns from previous interactions to provide tailored answers to user queries, it’s important to understand user intent and behavior. In order to create and optimize relevant content, you should:
- Conduct thorough audience research, analyze search trends, and create detailed buyer personas to gain insights into the specific needs, preferences, and pain points of your target audience.
- Prioritize optimizing for conversational queries, which are more specific and targeted with the potential to capture user intent more accurately.
- Create tailored content to different segments within your target audience and focus on addressing their unique pain points and interests.
- Optimize for voice search, including natural language and question-based queries.
- Monitor user engagement metrics like click-through rates, time on page, and bounce rates to gain insights into how users interact with your personalized search results.
Optimizing for AI-generated Answers
It’s crucial for marketers to optimize content for AI-generated answers because they appear above traditional search results. Google cites the websites it uses to generate answers, so focusing on creating high-quality, authoritative content will be paramount. Here’s how:
- Use AI-friendly formats like bullet points, lists, tables, and snippets—with headings and subheadings—which are more likely to be used by AI systems to generate responses.
- Deliver clear and concise answers to queries with FAQ pages and question-based headings in articles.
- Leverage structured data markup to help search engines understand your content better and enhance the visibility of ratings, reviews, and product details.
- Optimize for Featured Snippets by using clear headings, bullet points, and tables.
Branding Through Individual Expertise
The Search Generative Experience will highlight video responses, social media posts, and forum comments, presenting an opportunity to align your brand with individual experts. To provide this expertise, you should::
- Establish personal branding for individuals within your organization, especially those with subject matter expertise, through blogs, personal websites, social profiles, and networking platforms.
- Collaborate with influencers on content creation, guest blogging, podcast interviews, or joint webinars.
- Feature expert contributors in guest posts and interviews on relevant topics.
Showcase thought leadership with insightful articles, white papers, research studies, and industry reports.
We’ve long been feeling the push to deliver high-quality, hyper-relevant, authoritative content. But in order to stand out in the burgeoning SGE landscape where user intent is king, marketers will need to prioritize real human experiences, perspectives, and expertise—all packaged up in AI-friendly formats.